Low levels of enthusiasm, on the part of the player or coach, have a major impact on the success or failure of a practice or workout.
Every day, as I observe how IMG Academy's students act with their coaches, it's interesting to see the range in enthusiasm on the court.
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Henry Ford famously said, "You can do anything if you have enthusiasm ... Enthusiasm is the spark in your eye, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of your will, and your energy to execute your ideas. Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it, there are only alibis."
First, ask yourself about your enthusiasm, not only for tennis, but to everything you do.
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Martina Hingis came to the Academy before the last WTA World Championships played in Madison Square Garden. As we walked back to the courts from lunch, I told her how dare she forget all that her mom has done for her. When she beat Lindsay Davenport in the finals, I was in attendance; she thanked her mom and then said the week with me brought back her enthusiasm and passion for the game.
Each and every day I am asked the same question- "How can you be so happy and full of enthusiasm every day?" My answer is that from the time I was a little boy, I was happy and looked forward to everything I did.
This attitude developed into a habit and I'm sure the upbringing I had from my parents and grandparents helped that because my grandmother would have it no other way.
Harvey Mackay, who wrote several New York Times bestsellers, including Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, was a super golfer and also a darn good tennis player.
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When we get together we go back and forth exchanging our opinions and beliefs. We are always stealing (equally) each other's wisdom and then applying it to what we teach in our speeches and articles.
Mackay has some great ideas about the power of positive thinking and enthusiasm. In his last article he wrote, "No matter what your situation, negative thinking will not improve it. Focus on the positive, even if it is a small thing. Train your brain to look for the silver lining, and then be amazed at how your improved attitude leads to enthusiasm."
American author Napolean Hill also had the right idea when he said, "Enthusiasm in life is an essential ingredient for success. Enthusiasm energizes refreshes and motivates the person endowed with it.
This is what we do with all our students at the IMG Academy. No matter what sport, they are all enthusiastic to their sport and to live life. That is what we are about.
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